Human-centric AI news and analysis

Google is testing Smart Compose on WhatsApp and Telegram

The sentence suggestion feature has been spotted by users of Gboard beta

It looks Google’s exploring new ways to turn us all into robots. Users of Gboard beta have spotted Smart Compose popping up in Google Messages, Telegram, and WhatsApp, 9to5Google reports.

The feature’s been making writing suggestions as you type for a couple of years now, but never before in messaging apps. Google initially launched it for Gmail, where it now recommends closing messages, like “Have a great weekend!” or “Please leave me alone, you’re scaring me.” Well, maybe not the latter — but it should do.

It was later added to Google Docs for G Suite, and it now seems like it’s coming to messaging services too. So far, the feature has only been spotted in the snappily-named version 9.5.12.317844448 update to Gboard. But if the trials work, it might be meddling with all of our messages soon.

[Read: Microsoft Word’s AI wants to rewrite your crappy sentences]

In fairness to Google, Smart Compose still gives humans the final say. If you like its suggestion, you can swipe right on the text to accept it. If you don’t, just keep typing your terrible prose.

And despite my concerns about becoming a cyborg, I value Smart Compose’s support when penning pointless emails. Its suggestions are also surprisingly smart, although that might just be a reflection of my generic writing.

Only a limited number of users have got the feature in messaging apps for now. If you want to join them, you could try signing up for Gboard beta.

Published July 1, 2020 — 14:54 UTC

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